Left-handed wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella smashed a rearguard 128 to help Sri Lanka A avoid follow-on against New Zealand A on day three in their first unofficial Test match at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
On a chilly Monday morning, 22-year old Dickwella sparked an outstanding resurgence with his 192-ball 128 which included 17 fours.
Despite Dickwella’s brilliant innings, New Zealand A lead the game by 270 runs with 6 wickets in hand. The first session on day four (final day/tomorrow) will be crucial for New Zealand A’s chances of winning this game.
The visitors resumed day 3 from their overnight score of 166 for 3. Right-handed Roshen Silva was the first to be dismissed by Adam Milne in the 3rd over of the day, he failed to add to his overnight score of 47.
Left-handed duo of Udara Jayasundara and Niroshan Dickwella added 50 runs for the 5th wicket before the opener’s valiant innings was cut-short at 99 by leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.
None of the lower order batsmen made noteworthy contributions while Dickwella continued his lone fight. The former Trinitian reached his 6th first-class century in 109 balls and later when he was 128, he fell to the bowling of Ish Sodhi, conceding a 112-run lead.
New Zealand A in their reply lost their top 4 batsmen for just 34 runs before the completion of the 14th over. Left-arm seamer, Vishwa Fernando bowled a scintillating opening spell grabbing 3 scalps.
First innings’ centurion, Henry Nicholls and Derek de Boorder resurrected the Kiwi innings with an unbroken 124-run stand for the 5th wicket to take their team to safety at stumps.
New Zealand A – 470 all out in 123 overs: Jeet Raval 152, Dean Brownlie 68, Henry Nicholls 144, Neil Wagner 25, Jeffrey Vandersay 5/107, Lahiru Gamage 2/82.
Sri Lanka A – 358 all out in 100.5 overs: Udara Jayasundara 99, Dhananjaya De Silva 35, Roshen Silva 47, Niroshan Dickwella 128, Colin Munro 3/37, Adam Milne 3/52, Ish Sodhi 2/73.
New Zealand A (2nd inn) – 158/4 in 39 overs: Henry Nicholls 57*, Derek de Boorder 62*, Vishwa Fernando 3/52.